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Fortnightly Magazine - September 2007

Tilting to Windward

As if carbon control were a fait accompli, gen developers skew the queue toward renewable projects, driving new policy on transmission pricing.

Bruce W. Radford

Now at last, in a region other than California, we can see clearly that renewable mandates and fears of carbon taxes have influenced the power-plant development cycle. Moreover, this effect is helping to drive policy proposals for the pricing of transmission service and the recovery of costs for grid upgrades deemed necessary to bring the new plants on line.

The 40 Best Energy Companies

Will 2007 be remembered as the year of the turnaround? Several new CEOs with bold transformation programs took top spots in our third annual ranking.

Richard Stavros

(September 2007) Consistent performance over time is the Holy Grail of corporate management, and a focus of many of the executives who made this year’s ranking. Who returned to the list, and who fell off? And more important, why?

Understanding the F40

How does the modified Dupont Model reward utilities?

Jean Reaves Rollins

(September 2007) The impact of dividend policies, capital expenditures, and publicly traded equities highlights an in-depth look at what goes into the modified Dupont Model behind the Fortnightly 40 financial rankings for utilities.

How to Achieve High Performance

Lessons from the top 40 utilities.

Jack Azagury

(September 2007) A senior executive at Accenture broadens the financial metrics behind the Fortnightly 40 to expound on the high performance behind this year’s ratings—and show the way for utilities aspiring to make the list in future years.

Advanced Metering Infrastructure Special Report: Where's the Beef?

What do customers get from AMI investments?

Chris King

Utility commissions are responding to their constituents by dramatically increasing emphasis on funding for energy-efficiency and demand-response programs. They believe—and expect—advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) will contribute substantially to both areas.

Advanced Metering Infrastructure Special Report: A Planning Guide for AMI

How to manage the metering selection process.

Ivo Steklac and Andrew Trump

The complex process of selecting an AMI system takes considerable time, goes through distinct phases, and is subject to outside influences that will interrupt progress. The authors list several success factors that must be addressed to avoid the risks of poor choices, ruined budgets, and failed implementation.

Spaced Out

Geospatial applications are laying the groundwork for the next round of infrastructure development and customer interaction.

Christian Hamaker

As utilities grapple with aging infrastructure and outage management, they are evaluating their GIS and considering the best way to keep up with the shifting demands of the electric-power industry.

Sub-Primed and Ready

Will the turmoil on Wall Street spur a massive flight to utilities?

Richard Stavros, Executive Editor

There remains a concern that during the next economic downturn investors will pass on utilities again. The reason is that the industry’s risks are still opaque to investors.

People

(September 2007) DPL Inc. promoted Bryce Nickel to vice president of transmission and distribution operations. DPL also announced the promotion of Kevin Hall to director, transmission and distribution engineering. MDU Resources Group Inc. promoted Cynthia J. Norland, assistant vice president of administration, to vice president of administration. Portland General Electric Co. named Jay Dudley vice president, general counsel, and compliance officer. And others...

Letters to the Editor

A lengthy letter to the editor addresses whether the Energy Information Administration’s gas-market forecasts, as laid out in a recent article, are biased. The authors of the original piece, Timothy J. Considine and Frank A. Clemente, then respond to the letter.

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